This morning when I went into the goat area to feed the goats, Thistle was standing off by himself on the hill. He came over to me, like always, and I immediately noticed that one of his horns was dangling on the side of his face. I tried to pull it off and he yanked his head away and skedaddled as far away from me as he could.
All of our goats were de-horned as babies and they all have little stubs where their horns would be. Thistle's horns started to grow back and then stopped, at about two inches long. He must have gotten it caught in the fence or something.
I went back to the house and called our vet. The horns of goats are connected to their skull and when they break off they leave a hole straight into the sinus. There are two big dangers with a goat breaking a horn: one is infection and the other is shock. Either one can cause death. Goats are fragile animals.
Our vet gave me instructions and we got to work. Thank goodness we are in the dead of winter so flies aren't a problem. I gathered a bucket of supplies in the barn and we isolated Thistle in the goat shed. I sprayed the area with antiseptic and then Brett held Thistle across his lap. I put a guaze pad over the bloody hole and wrapped it with vet wrap. Thistle screamed like I had stuck a knife in his heart when I started wrapping. After three or four ear splitting screams he went limp. I wrapped under his chin, across the guaze, around an ear and back under. I kissed his sweet face and told him he would be okay. His limp body scared me. We were afraid he was going into shock. But when I finished, he scrambled to his feet and then hid under the goat shed bench.
This evening, we opened the goat shed door so the other goats can get in. The first of a series of rain storms may arrive during the night so the goats needed to be in their shelter. That, and a mountain lion killed a deer on a neighbor's property two nights ago so we wanted the goats in. Our vet said the wrap should stay on for as long as it stays.
Thistle is my favorite goat, my special buddy. Right now, he won't come near me. He stands at a distance and gives me the stink eye. I'm hoping he pulls through this (I think he will) and we go back to being friends.